For the average technology user, the move towards cloud computing is perhaps most directly useful for its file sharing and backup capabilities. Through cloud storage, a variety of companies offer consumers the ability to synchronize, store, and share files online. Such a service allows users to move between computers without needing to transfer documents, and it provides the peace of mind that important files will not be lost if a laptop crashes or gets stolen.
With cloud storage gaining in popularity, people often ask which service to choose from among the dozens and dozens out there. While there is no concrete answer, as personal needs and priorities vary between users, there are a couple key questions to consider when deciding on a service:
How important is storage space?
This question is the most important one to ask. While it’s hard to objectively label a cloud storage service as superior to the others, it’s not too difficult to determine which ones offer the most storage space. But there’s a catch: storage space, naturally, tends to increase alongside price. This is also a good place to consider how much you are willing to pay for the service, if anything. Most widely-used services offer several gigabytes of free storage before charges begin to accumulate, which should be sufficient for most users. And some smaller providers offer even more. ADrive, for example, provides 50 GB of free storage. If you’re just storing text documents you probably won’t need that much, though, and might prefer a service with other perks. On the other hand, if you plan mainly to store media files, a service like Oosah may be more appealing, since it will give you 1 terabyte of storage for such files.
Once you’ve zeroed in on a range of ideal storage space and fees, it’s time to take that that list and move on to the next question:
What am I using this for?
There are three reasons, above else, that people decide to use cloud storage: to backup files, to be able to access files on multiple computers, and to collaborate easily with others. In this stage of the decision process, ask yourself which objective fits your needs best. If you seek mainly to backup your files, a more traditional service like Box.net may serve you very well. If, on the other hand, your prime goal is to be able to move seamlessly between computers without transferring files, you might prefer Live Mesh, a Microsoft venture that provides an online desktop. And, finally, if collaboration is the plan, look to services like DropBox, which make it easy to share folders with friends and colleagues.
Online cloud storage is a competitive industry, and there are a lot of options out there. This tutorial, consequently, only scrapes the surface. But if you’re looking to start using cloud storage, make sure you start narrowing down the possibilities by asking yourself these two key questions.
Author Bio:- Ryan Sandberg is freelance writer with a passion for entrepreneurship, efficiency and ice hockey. He spends his time writing and researching current tech trends with a focus on powerline networking, current events, and the future of Cloud Computing.